‘Rule one: Never allow a crisis to go to waste,” according to former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. It seems that loyal subjects of the political left, including this newspaper, are again exploiting an atrocity for political purposes, calling for further encroachment upon the rights of law-abiding Americans (“Our View: Newtown’s call to action on gun control,” Dec. 18).

“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty,” Thomas Jefferson said. The greatest obstacle faced by today’s ruling class is the same faced by Japan in World War II: an armed citizenry who can defend themselves and their country. Clear away the political smoke and this is the real debate.

New restrictions, in addition to the more than 40,000 gun laws currently in place, affect only the law-abiding. It is nothing less than exploiting a crisis to further efforts to disarm citizens, moving the country closer to despotism.

Gun laws did not prevent 44 deaths in the Bath (Mich.) School disaster bombings in 1927 or seven deaths in the 1982 Tylenol poisonings. Or six deaths in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; 168 deaths in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing; five deaths in the 2001 anthrax mailings, and 3,000 deaths in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, to name a few.

John Adams warned, “Our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”

Our founders emphatically and repeatedly warned that our free society is entirely dependent upon virtue and morality. As we slip further into moral and social depravity, where human life is devalued and traditional family values are disparaged, it’s no surprise we would suffer the consequences.

As long as the target is individual liberty, and not the social and moral cause, it can only get worse.

Gary Foster is a resident of Gray.